“Now when they [the 2 witnesses] finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.” Revelation 11:7.
The above is added for context, we will continue on beginning with Revelation 11:8.
“And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Revelation 11:8.
The great city where they lie is easy to identify, it is where the Lord was crucified, which we know is Jerusalem.
Spiritually calling Jerusalem, Sodom and Egypt is intended to show the moral and spiritual condition of that city in the midst of this future time.
Sodom is most obvious as you can see by the following:
“Look, this was the iniquity of your [Jerusalem’s] sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.” Ezekiel 16:49-50.
In the depths of tribulation horror Jerusalem will be proud, filled, idle, and uncaring for the less fortunate, haughty (disdainfully proud, snobbish, arrogant), and committing abomination, which in the case of Sodom is where we get the word Sodomy.
As for Egypt it is said that their religion was an utterly confused conglomeration of polytheistic religions.
To put this all together, Jerusalem will not only be all of the wretched description shown in Ezekiel above; but in spite of being representatives of the true God they will have given themselves over to gross idolatry.
“Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three and a half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.” Revelation 11:9-10.
At no other time in history could this be fulfilled, the whole world looks upon their dead bodies, with satellites the internet, cell phones and worldwide television broadcasting stations, it is now possible.
The earth dwellers everywhere send presents and rejoice over the death of these two. This is the only time rejoicing occurs during the tribulation period and it covers the entire earth. This confirms that the two witnesses brought judgments upon the whole world.
They are left as trophies in the street out of admiration for their new hero, the beast who has risen from the dead, conquering both death and the hated witnesses. And they gloat for three and a half days.
“Now after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand men were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.” Revelation 11:11-14.
What a powerful sight this would be, two thoroughly dead men standing up on their feet in front of all and then leaving earth in a cloud in the sight of all. There is a witness even in the departure of these witnesses, people who see this are without excuse.
Life is short and decisions must be made when the Spirit opens the truth up to anyone, for just as quickly as the witnesses left so the city is decimated and seven thousand men are hurled into eternity.
According to the J. N. Darby translation of the Bible, the phrase “seven thousand men were killed”, is rendered, “seven thousand names of men were slain”.
One commentator said that the term, names of men, means that these seven thousand were men of importance. Either way if seven thousand men were killed, there may well have been many others, making this statistic much higher.
“The second woe is past.” The second woe started with the release of the four angels at the river Euphrates and the 200 million demon army.
It ends in mid-tribulation with the death and resurrection of the Antichrist, the death and resurrection of the two witnesses and the death of one third of the remaining population. What happens to the demons?
Are they again incarcerated in the abyss by God? Or does the resurrected beast, with the aid of Satan, fake their defeat and drive them back into the abyss?
The latter would certainly make the beast into an even greater hero.
“…they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’” Revelation 13:4b.
“Behold, the third woe is coming quickly”, when the seventh angel sounds, the third woe, the bowl judgments will be released.
“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” Revelation 11:15.
The second woe having ended in the middle of the seven years of tribulation, we now have the seventh angel sounding his trumpet. The result of this is the seven bowl judgments are poured out, this is the third woe.
It is important to note that these bowl judgments are not mentioned again until chapter 16. Knowing this may save you some confusion.
It is my opinion that the bowls are not actually poured out until the last few months of the tribulation.
This is for no other reason than that these judgments are so severe that the world would literally suffocate if they were to extend over too long a period.
Another reason is that a number of expositors have said that the wording indicates that the bowl judgments are poured out in quick succession.
It cannot be said with certainty how much time has elapsed between the end of the second woe in verse 14 and the blowing of the trumpet in verse 15, but heaven is rejoicing already, even if there is all of 3 ½ years left before the Lord Jesus returns to reign on the earth.
“And the twenty-four elders [Revelation 4:4] who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give You thanks O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth.” Revelation 11:16-18.
The last sentence here is of interest; for instance, “The nations were angry” is taken from Psalm 2,
“Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: ‘Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.’” Psalm 2:1-6.
This Psalm is about both the first advent of the Lord Jesus and His return. The first time the Jews and Gentiles rejected and crucified Him. Both groups can be named because the Jews brought Him before Pilate (a Gentile) and he pronounced the sentence of death.
In the above passage, the nations are literally Gentiles; the kings of the earth are Gentiles because it is and was the time of Gentile domination.
The rulers who take counsel together are the religious and civic leaders of Israel, and the counsel of both groups was to reject the Messiah.
Again we see it during the rebellious period of the tribulation. In the end though, we find that God has already set His Anointed One upon the throne. This was done before time began.
“The time of the dead, that they should be judged” is not a reference to judgment day at the end of time. It refers to the period immediately following the end of the tribulation and before the millennium begins.
The dead here are those who took the number of the beast and those who rejected Christ during this seven year period.
These folks are reprobates, the walking dead and they will stand before Christ as He rewards those who have accepted Him and casts into hell those who have rejected Him during this period.
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…’” Matthew 25:31-34.
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels…’” Matthew 25:41.
“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46.
“Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.” Revelation 11:19.
The tabernacle built by Moses was fashioned after the heavenly things he was shown on the mountain.
“And let them [the Israelites] make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.” Exodus 25 8-9.
It is with Jesus’ own blood that He entered the heavenly temple.
“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:11-14.
Revelation 11:8-19 taken from godisrevealed.com updated on 12-29-16, reposted on 8-6-22.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.